Nurses with a high level of education such as an MSN have been shown to provide very high quality patient care. This is particularly true for advanced practice nurses such as nurse practitioners. Forty years of research has shown that the level of care they provide is comparable to that of doctors.
The enhanced skill and knowledge base of MSN-educated nurses enables them to earn much higher salaries. For instance, the salaries of APRNs in Minnesota were 1.36 to 2.24 times higher than those of staff nurses in 2014 according to the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development.
In 2013, there were 9,164 students taking advantage of the opportunity to earn an MSN in Michigan according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. A number of these students are licensed RNs who have gone back to school to advance their career opportunities and earn higher salaries.
According to a 2011-12 survey performed by the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, the number of nurses that returned to school to complete RN-MSN completion programs was greatest among BSN-educated nurses, followed by those with ADNs, and lastly those with nursing diplomas:
Initial Nursing Degree
- Diploma – 491
- ADN – 1,292
- BSN – 3,337
Comparing APRN and Staff Nurse Salaries in Minnesota
2014 salary information from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reveals the increased earning power of nurses with MSNs compared to staff nurses who typically have BSNs or ADNs:
Additional evidence for this earning power comes from a 2012 salary survey of nurses in Minnesota and other parts of the Midwest. The results of this Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses survey revealed that APRNs in this region earned an average of $31,941 a year more than staff nurses:
- APRN – $87,608
- Staff Nurse – $55,667
Salaries of Nurse Practitioners in Minnesota
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides its analysis of nurse practitioner salaries in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of Minnesota (2013). The median salaries for nurse practitioners located in St. Cloud were substantially higher than those in the rest of the state:
Nurse Anesthetist Salaries in Key Regions of Minnesota
According to salary information provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists earned the highest salaries of APRNs in Minnesota. The average salaries of these professionals was substantially higher in the northwest nonmetropolitan area of the state (2013):
*These figures represent hourly wages that are at least $90.00 per hour or annual salaries that are at least $187,199. These are the maximum salaries reported by the US Department of Labor for Minnesota.
Nurse Midwife Salaries in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the median salary of nurse midwives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area was $98,960 with those in the 90th percentile earning $140,840 in 2013: